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The usefulness of uselessness: Towards a landscape framework for un-activated urban public space


In recent decades, programmatic design activations have successfully rejuvenated many underperforming urban parks and vague sites. Nevertheless, the innate ephemerality of the landscape also leaves it susceptible to over-activation and loss of resilience and future possibility. Framed by this vulnerability, the article contributes a landscape-based interpretation of existing architectural and urban theories of vagueness and temporary use. Upholding of the potentiality of a site - even if not visibly active or productive - is agued to exhibit valid use-value within the contemporary accelerated urban context. The article cultivates landscape mechanisms for maintaining and propagating uselessness and neutralising existential threats to the openness of a site.

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